Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, FACE F2002-18, 2003 Jan; :1-9
On April 11, 2002, a 61-year-old male career Fire Chief (the victim), providing mutual aid at a scene of a motor vehicle incident, died after being struck by a fire truck. A 26-year-old male volunteer Fire Chief (the driver) from another department lost control of the fire truck after his brakes failed as he was arriving on the scene. The driver received injuries and was transported by ambulance to a regional hospital where he was hospitalized and then discharged the following day. The victim was transported by ambulance to a regional hospital where he was pronounced dead. NIOSH investigators concluded that, to minimize the risk of similar occurrences, fire departments should: 1. develop comprehensive apparatus maintenance programs in accordance with manufacturer's specifications and instructions that include regularly scheduled inspections, documentation, and procedures for removing apparatus from service until major defects are repaired; 2. ensure all drivers of fire department vehicles receive driver training at least twice a year; 3. develop, implement, and enforce standard operating procedures (SOPs) regarding emergency operations for highway incidents; 4. ensure that while operating at an emergency scene, personnel wear personal protective clothing that is suitable to that incident, such as a highly visible reflectorized flagger vest (strong yellow-green or orange); and, 5. develop, implement, and enforce standard operating procedures (SOPs) on the safe operation of emergency vehicles which include the use of seat belts. Additionally, municipalities should consider establishing and maintaining regional mutual-aid radio channels to coordinate and communicate activities involving units from multiple jurisdictions.